Sometimes it's as clear as day — the two of you need couples counseling. And other times? Well, it's a little foggy. The reality is if the two of you are not committed to being completely open to listening to the counselor's suggestions and your partner's words and complaints . . . it's not going to help your partnership, at all.
If you've been wondering if the two of you need couples counseling or, perhaps, you think maybe you're just overreacting, read this and see if these signs are familiar in your current relationship or not.
1. You Keep Considering Counseling
If you personally — or your partner — keep mentioning couples counseling, listen to each other. If either of you is truly compelled or constantly bringing up the topic, there's a reason. Happy couples don't talk about counseling ad nauseam. In fact, they never bring it up.
Listen to your gut, because one or both of you is already verbalizing the need. Just go for it!
2. There's a Shutdown on Intimacy
If you notice a dramatic decrease in sex, conversation, and cuddling, and there's no real legitimate reason like perhaps illness, a job loss, or a major family situation, you need to ask why.
This is a reason to go to counseling together, because if the intimacy continues to deteriorate, the relationship will fail or one or both of you may engage in an affair.
3. One or Both of You Insults the Other
This is just not acceptable. I used to think it was sort of normal. I learned it is not, thank god, but still . . .
This is if either one of you or both of you resorts to insulting each other during arguing, and by insulting, I mean incredibly harsh words that can't be taken back. If the two of you are constantly finding reasons to pick at each other, you both need to be in counseling ASAP. It's just not healthy. Plain and simple.
4. You Discover or Admit an Affair
If either you admit to an affair or are discovered cheating, you guys need to run, not walk, to counseling.
The discovery of an affair does not always mean the end to a relationship, but without uncovering the issues within the cheater and within the relationship and other partner, the relationship will not repair. If you're OK with that, fine, but if you're not, make the move.
5. You Can't Understand the Other
Is this the two of you? When you speak, argue, or disagree, neither of you can really grasp what the other is saying.
If you answered yes, go to counseling. It may be that resentment, communication styles, or other issues are keeping you two from being able to process what the other person needs or is feeling. Counseling can help you two get back on the same page again.
6. One of You Is Struggling With Mental Health or Substance Issues
Obviously, whoever is struggling with the issue should be in a program or therapy, but then in that case, your partner should probably attend counseling both alone and with you.
In order to heal after substance use or help a relationship when one party struggles with depression, anxiety, bipolarity, or what have you, counseling can really help you two support each other. Even if you are the healthy party in the relationship, your partner's issues can have an effect on you.
7. One or Both of You Feels Far From the Other
Life happens. Work. Illness. Hobbies. Kids. Sometimes even if we have a great partner, we can drift from each other. Couples counseling can help the two of you reconnect and make a plan to keep from "letting the boat drift" again.
Good relationships are worth the work, and a good relationship doesn't require heavy labor, usually — just constant fine-tuning. Sometimes, though, the best of people and partnerships hit big road blocks and we need help. This is OK. Be humble. Be mindful of how important your relationship is and seek counseling.